The working relationship between Philip Brophy and Philip Samartzis goes back many years. Both were involved in many of the projects released on the Present label and both lectured in Media Arts at RMIT University in Melbourne. Ph2 is their collaborative venture.
Ph2 projects arise from the opportunity to present or perform, at which point a project is developed. Surround-sound exploration is central to most of these works, combined with ways in which the two can conceptualize, score and improvize. Most works start off as pure experiments to see what outcomes will arise. Successive performances then gel the work into a form, which is then at some stage recorded in multi-speaker configuration. Some of these works eventually found their release through Sound Punch Records.
Heat was a one-off collaborative project undertaken by video artist Dominic Redfern and Ph2. It culminated in a ‘live’ audio-visual performance using video, live percussion and surround sound diffusion.
Camera & editing - Dominic Redfern
Drum & cymbal - Philip Brophy
Field recordings and live spatial diffusion - Philip Samartzis
IMMERSION 4 - Interface Festival of New Music, The Big Reservoir, Berlin
Heat expands Ph2's base to include video artist Dominic Redfern. Both in solo capacity and as part of Ph2, the two Philips had previously supplied live scores to various short videos by Dominic. Heat capitalises on their sympathetic sensibilities to produce a work which extends their joint pursuits in audiovisual presentation. The concept of Heat obliquely references the trio's take on the Australian landscape - not as a glorious heroic vista of beauty, but as a flat, rural emptiness that evokes memories of spending Christmas holidays with the family in cramped tents in sweltering heat. The sounds and visions for Heat are sourced from the sprawling asphalt haven of the so-called great escape, where bees terrorise, magpies attack, grass stings and the sun endlessly tortures."
Philip Brophy and Philip Samartzis imagined their sound complementing Dominic's video textures in terms of the heat of the space, the land, and the sizzling/rotting objects trapped by the searing landscape. Philip Samartzis focused on collating and processing a set of field recordings (crackling fire, bees, flies, crickets, birdsong, etc.) while Philip Brophy performed live with a single large roto tom and a single ride cymbal (using hands, fingers, brushes and sticks). The tom and cymbal were also miced and Philip Samartzis simultaneously diffused the sound into 4-channels while doing the same to his banks of field recordings.